Keep using helpline, urges NSPCC

THE NSPCC is urging people to continue to use its helpline over the festive period to report any concerns about a child or young person.

Calls drop significantly at this time of year, potentially leaving some children at risk of harm. Last Christmas Eve there were 33 calls made from across the UK and the Channel Islands, but this fell to just 11 on Christmas Day and 25 on Boxing Day, an 80 per cent drop on the usual daily call rates.

The most common reasons for calling were concerns about neglect, physical abuse and family relationships. Alcohol was a recurring issue.

Head of the helpline John Cameron said: “Some children don’t get a Christmas break from cruelty. It can happen at any time, any day.

“But people seem reluctant to report cases of abuse at this time of year, possibly because they see it as a happy occasion and don’t want to spoil it. Hopefully this year people will realise that a child’s safety is more important and give us a call. We are here round-the-clock, every day of the year.”

Call the free NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email Correspondents can remain anonymous.